Local News

School defibrillator saves Gray's Creek High coach's life

Posted April 10, 2014

— The staff at a Cumberland County high school recently passed a life-and-death test.

David Lovette, a physical education teacher and football coach at Gray's Creek High School in Hope Mills, suffered a heart attack at school on March 25.

"I just did my usual hello, good morning type stuff," Lovette said recently while recuperating at home. "Next thing I know, I was on the floor. That's what they tell me, anyway."

The faculty and staff immediately sprang into action, performing CPR and using an automated external defibrillator at the school to shock Lovette's heart.

"We activated the defibrillator (but) still didn't have a heartbeat," Assistant Principal Lisa Stewart said. "We continued to use compressions until the firemen got here from Cotton Fire Department."

There is no law requiring North Carolina schools to have defibrillators on campus, but Cumberland County Schools invested $140,000 to put two in each high school and one in each middle school.

Lovette said he and other teachers have trained on the defibrillator each summer for the past few years. They even sang "Stayin' Alive" as they practiced CPR, he said.

"They did a good job," he said. "They did CPR on me, they hooked the defibrillator up on me, and they saved my life. So, I owe them a lot."

A day after leaving the hospital, the coach visited his team at school. The students went crazy, and hundreds signed a banner that now hangs over his fireplace.

"(It) let's me know I'm loved, I guess," he said.

A fund has been started at Gray's Creek High to help Lovette and his family with their hospital bills.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • rduwxboy Apr 11, 2014

    If I have to pay 20% of my health bills for something potentially catastrophic, I'd probably need help too. Good grief, do people think just because you pay for health insurance everything is paid for???

  • Mike Rigsbee Apr 11, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I have a huge deductible for my policy that I have as I am self employed. Most health insurance today has large deductible and copays. Does that mean everyone gets help when faced with big medical bills? State plans like the coach is on are actually more generous than most other individual plans.

  • vsusu2002 Apr 11, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Wow, do you not realize even with insurance, most people still will have a medical bill? Unfortunately working folks who have insurance seems to have the highest medical bill(s) (I am a state employee a matter of fact). With your last comment, I surely hope a situation like this doesn't happen to you or a close family member of yours.

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Apr 11, 2014

    I'm not against having defibrillators, but the story said that it didn't get his heart beating again. So it was really the staff using CPR that saved his life.

  • byrdcrap Apr 11, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Obviously you are unfamiliar with the health insurance currently offer for teachers. His deductables and coinsurances will be thousands of dollars. Thats a lot of money for a teacher. Please think before you post.

  • corginole Apr 11, 2014

    Even with insurance, there are still steep bills associated with copay and the 20-30% co-insurance of the state plan.

  • baldchip Apr 11, 2014

    EVERY school should have an AED. High schools should have 2 or 3 depending upon how spread out they are. Minutes count in this situation.

    God bless him and all the folks that helped save is life.

  • ncprr1 Apr 11, 2014

    Great story. I'm glad that if it had to happen, it happened where there was a defibrillator nearby.

  • George Costanza Apr 11, 2014
    user avatar

    Do you know North Carolina is one of the few states that does not require every school to have an AED on school grounds.

  • LetsBeFair Apr 10, 2014

    good story WRAL.